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Patent model of Theodore Timby's apparatus for raising sunken vessels

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Patent model of Theodore Timby's apparatus for raising sunken vessels
Photo by Hugh Talman, Negative #: 2006-24323

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Marine Patent Models — Complete Catalog: 1851-1869

Technology
Marine Patent Models — Working the boat

OTHER VIEWS
Drawing of Theodore Timby's apparatus for raising sunken vessels
Drawing of Theodore Timby's apparatus for raising sunken vessels


Apparatus for raising sunken vessels
Catalog #: 308,543, Accession #: 89,797
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection

This model demonstrates the use of an air-filled chamber to raise sunken ships or treasure.

Details
Date Made:
1842
Locations:
New York
Credit:
Transfer from the U.S. Patent Office
History

This model for "a new and useful Apparatus for Raising Sunken Vessels and other Submerged Bodies" accompanied Auburn, New York, resident Theodore R. Timby's application for a patent in 1842. The principle of the device is that a pump supplies air though a wire-reinforced leather hose to a submerged chamber, which acts to lift a submerged item to the surface. Timby did not claim to invent the use of an air chamber to provide lift; his innovation was in shaping his "air vessel" like an inverted cone with a dome on top. Furthermore, because the object to be raised would be secured to a ring on the air chamber's lower end, he prevented the weight of the object from deforming the chamber or ripping the ring loose by suspending the ring from chains run up and over the body of the chamber. The air vessel was to be constructed of thin copper, as the model is. The pump, although beautifully modeled, was to be simply an "ordinary air pump," and did not incorporate any innovations by Timby.

Ref:

Theodore R. Timby, Apparatus for Raising Sunken Vessels, U.S. patent no. 2,572, April 21, 1842


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